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Rowlett, Texas News

Rowlett Woman Convicted in Plot to Murder Boyfriend's Ex-Partner

A Rowlett woman who helped her fiancé orchestrate the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend was convicted at trial, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Holly Ann Elkins was indicted in June 2023. On Wednesday, after seven days of trial and an hour and a half of deliberation, a jury convicted her of conspiracy to stalk, stalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Her former fiancé, Andrew Beard, previously pleaded guilty to stalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and was sentenced to 43 years in federal prison.

“Holly Elkins and Andrew Beard constructed a campaign of terror aimed at Alyssa Ann Burkett, the mother of Mr. Beard’s young daughter.   After months of harassment and stalking, this campaign ended in the incredibly violent murder of Alyssa at the hands of Mr. Beard with Ms. Elkins’s full participation and knowledge in the planning and ensuing attempted cover-up.  This U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice as a whole, are committed to bringing those guilty of such heinous domestic violence to justice.  I pray that today’s verdict brings the victim’s family the peace they need to move forward. I know they will never allow Alyssa’s daughter to forget just how much her mother loved her,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton.

According to evidence presented during the trial, Elkins assisted in plotting the October 2, 2020 murder of 24-year-old Alyssa Ann Burkett, Beard's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter.

The prosecution argued that Ms. Elkins – who apparently dreamt of a life with Mr. Beard and a mother/ child relationship with his daughter – repeatedly attempted to call into question Ms. Burkett’s fitness as a parent. When that failed, Ms. Elkins goaded Mr. Beard into taking Ms. Burkett’s life, labeling the victim a “c**t” and a “dumb b**ch” and a “garbage s**t mom.” 

The perpetrators’ relationship began in early April 2020. Later that month, Ms. Elkins spent her first weekend with Mr. Beard and his daughter. By May, the couple were shopping for engagement rings. In June, however, Ms. Elkins grew frustrated at Mr. Beard’s continuing association with Ms. Burkett, writing, “your BM [baby mamma] owns you,” “you continue to put BM first,” “you choose to be idk for lack of a better term submissive to her,” and “I don’t have want or need any bullshit from anyone.”

Ms. Elkins began a campaign to harass Ms. Burkett in summer 2020, shortly after Ms. Elkins moved into Mr. Beard’s home.

In June, Ms. Elkins and Mr. Beard conspired to place a GPS tracker on Ms. Burkett’s vehicle.  A  month later, Ms. Elkins placed a call to 911 under the name fake “Amber,” falsely claiming that Ms. Burkett’s car was driving erratically on the interstate.  In August 2020, Ms. Elkins falsely reported to police that Ms. Burkett’s mother had attacked her, creating scratches on her own chest to support the lie. Five days later, Ms. Elkins and Mr. Beard paid a private investigator to dig up dirt on Ms. Burkett and her new boyfriend. (The investigator, who testified at trial, found nothing incriminating.) In September, Ms. Elkins helped Mr. Beard plant drugs and a gun in Ms. Burkett’s vehicle; Mr. Beard then placed a call to police under a fake name claiming Ms. Burkett was selling drugs to black men out of her car.

Then, on Sept. 10, just three weeks before the murder, Ms. Elkins accompanied Mr. Beard to a sporting goods store, where he purchased a black rainsuit in cash.  On Sept. 14, two and a half weeks before the murder, Ms. Burkett purchased dark makeup from a drug store.  On Sept. 19, she accompanied Mr. Beard to a big box store, where they purchased .410 shotgun shells and a Camillus knife.

One week prior to the murder, Ms. Elkins texted Mr. Beard and said “I hope you handle it.” She requested that he be “ride or die” for her and said if he was not, she is not sure the relationship can continue. Shortly after that text exchange, Google records reflect that Andrew Beard began conducting searches for how to remove gunpowder from his hands.

On Oct. 2, 2020, Mr. Beard, dressed in a black rainsuit and disguised as a Black man, shot Ms. Burkett in the head with a shotgun while she sat behind the wheel of her car in her work parking lot. As she staggered out of the car, Mr. Beard grabbed her and stabbed and slashed her 44 times.  Her coworkers testified at trial that they found Ms. Burkett covered in blood and gasping for air in front of her office front door. She died as her coworkers tried to render aid to her.

During the murder, Ms. Elkins stayed at Beard’s home in Rockwall with Ms. Burkett’s daughter. In an attempt to create an alibi, she later claimed Mr. Beard had been home with her during the crime.

At the trial, Ms. Burkett’s new boyfriend testified that he believed Ms. Elkins was the “puppet master” behind the murder.

Ms. Elkins now faces up to life in federal prison.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, the Carrollton Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. 

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